ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court determined on Wednesday that a woman has an unalienable right under Islamic law to be “kept” by her husband so long as she is “loyal and fulfils her own marriage obligations.”
According to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in a ruling he wrote, “A Muslim husband is obligated to support his woman even if no term in this regard was agreed upon between them during the time of their marriage or she may support herself out of her own resources.”
Justice Shah was a part of the three-judge Supreme Court panel led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial that was hearing an appeal brought by Haseenullah against a Peshawar High Court (PHC) decision from March 9, 2020.
The issue at hand is a lawsuit Ms. Naheed Begum, the wife of Haseenullah, filed in a Charsadda family court seeking maintenance for both herself and her 5 minor children as well as the four kanals of agricultural property that were listed in column no.16 of her Nikahnama, which served as her dower. The husband was residing with his new wife after entering into a second marriage.
The court dismissed her claims for recouping her dower and maintenance, but upheld her claim for repairs of her minor children. Her appeal was rejected by a district court, which upheld the family court’s decision.
She subsequently went to the PHC, which overturned the court rulings and upheld her dower claims.